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The Benefits of Nanny Sharing

What Nanny Sharing Is

Nanny sharing, which is the practice of joint or co-employment of one nanny by more than one family concurrently, is a concept which has been gaining in popularity in recent years.  Nanny sharing can involve a nanny caring for the children of multiple families at the same time and in the same place, or it can involve a nanny caring for the children of multiple families at different times and places. 

*A nanny can watch five children (two from one family and three from another) from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  In such a situation, the two families can take turns hosting the childcare or one family can consistently be the host.  

* A nanny can watch two children from 7:00 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, and three children from 12:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, each in their own family home.

Depending on family circumstances, nanny share may be right for your family. 

*If you have a need for part-time, rather than full-time, childcare, nanny sharing can help you find a high quality nanny for your children.  Many nannies prefer to work full-time, so being able to nanny share helps families tap into a larger pool of high quality nannies.

* If you have a need for a full-time nanny, you have one or two children, and you have a limited budget, nanny sharing can be a way to help you find the nanny that is right for your family, a friend or two for your children, and a family to help share the expenses associated with employing a nanny.

Finding the Family with Whom You Can Partner in Nanny Sharing

Once you decide that nanny sharing is right for your family, you then must find a family that would be a good match for yours.  Major differences in families can wreak havoc on a nanny sharing arrangement.  What follows is a list of things your family should have in common with the other family that you choose to partner with for nanny sharing.  (Note: if the shared nanny will not watch the children of both families at the same time and in the same place, some of the factors below will not apply.)

*Expectation of the nanny.  Are the children allowed to be reasonably self-directed, or are they used to highly structured activities?   Is the nanny to provide transportation for the children?  Is the nanny responsible for food preparation, and, if so, for which meals?  Is the nanny allowed to eat the family’s food, or should she bring her own food to work?  Is the nanny responsible for household chores?  If so, which chores?  What happens when the nanny is ill or needs to take vacation time? 

* Expectations of each family.  Who will be the host family . . . and when?  Will the host house be clean and hazard free?  How does each family define “clean” and “hazard”?  How will the childcare-associated bills get paid?  Will each family pay half up front?  Will one family pay the expenses and have the other family reimburse half the expenses after the fact?  What happens if one family fails to live up to the expectations of the other family?  Is the communication between the families such that conflict resolution can occur in a timely and constructive manner?

* Geography.  Do the families live within a reasonable distance of one another?

* Dietary habits of the children.  What foods are appropriate in each family?   Is soda pop an acceptable beverage?  Are the children allowed to eat white bread, red meat, etc.?  Are there food allergies among any of the children?

* Recreation of the children.  Are video games and television viewing acceptable in each family?  Do the children prefer sedentary or active play?  Do the children prefer indoor or outdoor play? 

*Communication style that the children are used to.  What communication style do the parents use when communicating with the kids?  Is direct communication comforting or an affront?  How much emotion can be verbalized comfortably?

* Demonstrations of affection that are acceptable between the nanny and the children.  Is it acceptable for the nanny to kiss the children on their cheeks?  How about a pat on their bottoms? 

* Method of discipline that the children are used to.  What method of discipline is used?  Verbal reprimands?  Time-outs?  Denial of snacks?  Spanking? 

If families have differences on important aspects of parenting, these differences will need to be reconciled for nanny sharing to be effective. 

The Benefits of Nanny Sharing

While finding a family that is a good match for yours can be a challenge, it enables you to reap the benefits of nanny sharing.  Those benefits include the following.

*Full-time nannies tend to stay with their employer-families longer than part-time nannies.  Since it is hard for children to say goodbye to their beloved nannies, less turnover among nannies is ideal.  Additionally, recruiting, hiring, and orienting nannies can be time-consuming for parents, so less turnover among nannies helps parents too.

*Cost-savings, relative to your family paying solely for a full-time nanny.

*Expanded social network for your children and you.  The family that you choose to partner with for nanny sharing will no doubt be a family much like your own.  If the shared nanny is to watch the children of both families at the same time and in the same place, your children will have new friends that they get to see regularly.  You and the other set of parents may become good friends as well, given that you have much in common.

Finding a Nanny

Once you have found a well matched partnering family and jointly agreed upon the essential factors involved in sharing a nanny (discussed above), you are ready to begin reaping the benefits of a shared nanny by recruiting and hiring the nanny that is right for your partnership.  We at Nannies4hire.com are here to help you recruit and hire the perfect nanny for your nanny share arrangement.  We look forward to assisting you by being your source for qualified nannies and information to help you hire and employ the best childcare for your situation.

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1 comment to The Benefits of Nanny Sharing

  • Sara

    This is a great way to interact the children you are caring for with others. I had a mother approach me who wanted a nanny who watched a child, specifically boy, who was about 3 years older then her son. I was watching a 4 year old at the time. This was great as it let the two children, who were the only kids in their family, experience having a brother like figure. They grew together for almost two years, playing once a week, going on trips together, to the park or even doing art projects together. They really enjoyed the company and it was something to look forward to each week. As they got older, it was a bit difficult to end the nanny share but overall it was a wonderful experience and I always recommend nannies take on other kids during their shifts. It gives you, as the care giver, a little more fun as well!

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